How do I File for Divorce in New York State?

How do I File for Divorce in New York State?

serve divorce papers

Divorce is oftentimes a physically and emotionally taxing process. This is why the last thing you should do after making the emotional decision to split with your partner is to try and go through the legal hoops alone–hire an experienced attorney today, and we will do our best to make the divorce process as efficient and painless as possible. If you are considering filing for divorce, here are some questions you may have:

What are the residency requirements in New York State?

If you wish to get a divorce in the state of New York, there are three primary residency requirements you must satisfy before you are able to file. These requirements are as follows:

  • You or your spouse have lived in New York in the year before the divorce case and you have either lived in New York as a married couple, got married in New York, or the grounds for your divorce occurred in New York
  • You or your spouse have lived in New York without interruption for a minimum of two years
  • Both you and your spouse are residences on the day of filing

Once it is established that you and your spouse satisfy these requirements, you may move forward with the divorce process. 

What are the grounds for divorce in New York State?

If you are getting a divorce, you may wish to cite certain “fault grounds.” Some of the different fault grounds are:

  • Domestic abuse
  • Adultery
  • Cruel and inhuman treatment
  • Imprisonment
  • Irreconcilable differences for at least six months
  • Divorce after a legal separation agreement
  • Divorce after a judgment of separation

While these are basically all forms of behavior that no human being should ever have to tolerate, most lawyers will not recommend citing fault grounds in your divorce, because this may open up your case to a rebuttal. By citing fault grounds, you are giving your spouse a chance to respond, which very often creates a far longer, expensive, and stressful experience. Since New York is a “no-fault” state, you do not have to cite fault grounds when seeking a divorce. Generally, citing fault grounds will have little or no impact on the outcome of the case, so most attorneys will recommend not citing fault grounds.

How do I start the divorce process?

The process begins with a Complaint for Divorce. Here, you will state the grounds for divorce and, if you are a financially dependent spouse, you may request the financial assistance you’ll need for support throughout the process. You may potentially receive child custody, child support, spousal maintenance, and assistance with legal fees to prevent financial intimidation. There will then be a discovery period, where both you and your spouse will provide key financial documents so the courts can get a well-rounded picture of how your marriage functions financially. If a trial cannot be avoided in a contested divorce, both parties will meet in court, and a trial will address the contested issues. Once both sides make their statements, a judge will issue a Judgement of Divorce, which contains the judge’s decision on the terms of your divorce and the obligations both parties must fulfill. You may appeal the case if you are unsatisfied with the results, either immediately or in the future. 

Contact our New York firm

The Pollack Law Firm, P.C., serving clients in Nassau and Suffolk County, is always available to assist and represent parties in divorce and all other matrimonial and family law matters. Please call today to schedule a free consultation: (516) 938-3330.

Read Our Latest Blog Posts

  •  What Should My Prenuptial Agreement Cover?
  •  Is Daycare Included in Child Support in New York?
  •  What Are the Legal Considerations for Same-Sex Divorce?